Friday, August 15, 2014
Trestman optimistic run game will improve
By Michael C. Wright
CHICAGO -- Matt Forte continues to run the wrong way this preseason, carrying seven times for a loss of 7 yards in two outings, but Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman remains optimistic his team can improve the rushing attack by the time the games count.
Forte carried four times Thursday in Chicago's 20-19 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, while backup Shaun Draughn averaged 11 yards on three attempts
"We haven't been productive," Trestman said. "Certainly, we've had a few more [productive] runs with the second [teamers] and thirds than we did with the first. We're working on it hard every day."
Chicago's early struggles running the ball are fairly common. It takes time, several reps at practice and, in live action, synchronizing all the moving parts involved with fielding an efficient ground attack.
Forte's rushing statistics from 2013 indicate as much, as he didn't put together a 100-yard outing until the eighth game of the season.
"Running game usually takes a little more time to get in sync," quarterback Jay Cutler said. "We're not really game planning exactly how we would during the year; just kind of running some plays. We'll get to where we need to be."
In the past, both Forte and center Roberto Garza have discussed how important it is for the offensive line and the running backs to develop precise timing. That's typically thrown off somewhat in the preseason because so many different players are rotated in and out of the lineup, not to mention the fact the offense isn't game planning the opponent.
"We're playing against a very good front during practice," Trestman said. "But we haven't shown that productivity. We hope that's not an indication. We feel strongly we're gonna be able to run the ball effectively, but we have not yet done that in the first two editions of the preseason."